The purpose of every presentation is to facilitate a decision by the audience. If you’re looking to raise money, your presenter strategy is to show that, for several reasons, the investment is has tremendous potential for success, will generate the desirable ROI and is relatively safe. However, since the person listening to the presentation usually will have to share the information with other decision-makers, the listener needs to remember what she/he heard and communicate it with some of the passion of the presenter.
Carmen Simon addresses the second issue in Impossible to Ignore. She notes fifteen variables people can use to influence other’s memory. They are: context, cues, distinctiveness, emotion, facts, familiarity, motivation, novelty, quantity of information, relevance, repetition, self-generated content, sensory intensity, social aspects and surprise.
You don’t have to use all 15, but if you develop a framework in which you connect some, you can use many to reinforce one another and therefore increase the power of recall.
Sales people have been taught not to focus on the features but the benefits. Features address facts; the benefits are the emotional satisfactions received when the goal for which you bought the product or service are achieved. Focusing on the goal, creates a context in which the buyer can present facts (showing it’s a rational decision) and emotionally address fears, hopes, surprise, relevance, etc.
Given the neurobiology of memory (limited time for non-distinctive information) and neuroscience of choice (we want to feel we made choice), don’t forget that less is more: too much information will make it difficult to remember and relate well. Always try to keep the information concise and succinct.
What strategies and tactics do you use to help people pay attention to your message and remember it well enough to communicate it to others? Share them with us.